Yenidze – Dresden, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Dresden, Germany

Yenidze

Tourists often confuse this beautifully ornate former cigarette factory for a mosque. 

In the early 20th century, Hugo Zietz, a Dresden-based tobacco tycoon, wanted to construct a cigarette factory to process the tobacco his company imported from the Ottoman Empire. But according to law, it was strictly prohibited to build factory buildings that might spoil the city’s baroque skyline.

Architect Martin Hammitzsch found a smart way to bypass this law. He designed the factory as an Art-Deco, mosque-inspired structure, thus hiding its actual purpose behind its architectural flair.

Evidently, Hammitzsch’s plan worked. When in Dresden, you can see hundreds of tourists confusing it with a real mosque at first sight.

Even though orientalism was widespread back when the “tobacco mosque” was constructed, the building still provoked a polemic debate. Some people opposed the avant-garde building, whereas others defended the resplendent factory.

All in all, the factory’s unusual appearance was a perfect marketing tool for Zietz, whose cigarettes sold very well during the following years. Its name, “Yenidze,” derives from the place in present-day Northern Greece where Zietz had his main tobacco-growing fields.

Know Before You Go

Nowadays, the building functions as an office building. The rooftop restaurant and terrace provide a 360-degree view of the city.

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